This is a beautiful cake for the festive season. The scent of vanilla, cinnamon and almonds is so evocative of the season and are one of my favourite flavour combinations. You need to allow plenty of time for chilling.
Almond & Cinnamon Torte
For the Sponge
- 300g ground almonds
- 5 egg yolks
- 4 tbsp Amaretto
- 160g caster sugar
- ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- 5 egg whites
- 50g plain flour
- 50g corn flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
For the Filling
- 150g Apricot Conserve
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 250g cream cheese
- 60g sugar
- 4cl Amaretto
- 1tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 7 gelatine leaves, soaked
- 600ml double cream
- 200ml double cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 50g roasted chopped almonds
- 50g white marzipan
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp icing sugar plus extra for dusting
- 4-5 Kumquats (optional)
- Glitter icing (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease a 25 cm spring form and line the base with baking parchment.
- For the sponge, roast the almonds in a large frying pan until pale gold. Remove from the heat, transfer the almonds to a bowl and leave to cool.
- Beat the egg yolks and the Amaretto together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in 110g of the caster sugar until the mixture is thick and fluffy then beat in the cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then beat in the remaining 50g of caster sugar. Spoon the egg whites onto the egg yolk mixture.
- Mix together the flour, cornflour and baking powder. Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites and lastly sprinkle the almonds over. Carefully fold everything together with a large metal spoon or a large balloon whisk.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing the top, and bake for 40 – 50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the spring form and place on a cooling rack. Peel off the parchment paper and leave to cool. Once cooled cut the cake into 3 slices horizontally.
- Spread the bottom and middle layers of the sponge with the apricot compote and sprinkle with the cinnamon.
- Place the bottom layer on a serving dish and enclose with the clean spring form clip.
- Beat the cream cheese, caster sugar, Amaretto, vanilla essence and cinnamon until smooth.
- Pour 30ml of the cream into a small microwave bowl and heat until just boiling.
- Stir the squeezed out gelatine into the cream until dissolved then stir into the cream cheese mixture.
- Beat the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the cream cheese until well combined.
- Spread half of this mixture onto the sponge base. Place the second sponge on top and spread with the remaining cream. Cover with the third sponge and press down lightly. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours.
- Remove the spring form ring. Beat the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla essence until spreadable. Place 2 – 3 tbsp of the cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
- Spread the remaining cream over the top and sides of the cake. Press the almonds around the outside of the cake.
- Pipe rosettes onto the top of the cake.
- Knead the marzipan together with the cinnamon and icing sugar. Roll out the marzipan on a worktop lightly dusted with icing sugar and cut out one large and 8 small marzipan stars using star shaped cutters. Decorate the cake with the stars. Pipe on the glitter icing if using (I used ready made). Decorate the centre of the cake with the kumquats.
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